Huge game at the Rock as Slick Rick brings in a very talented team to play against SHU. I think this game will be a good one because alot is on the line. Winning a game such as this helps SHU recruiting tremendously. Recruits are watching closely.
I still remember a huge game at Nassau Coliseum many years ago between little Iona College and big St. Johns University. I made the drive from NYC because this was a game many did not want to miss. It was an ECAC qualifying game or something similar. The coliseum even at that time was dark and dreary. But the atmosphere was electric as Glenn Vickers, Kevin Hamilton, Jeff Ruland, Dave Brown, and Alex Middleton took the court to a loud ovation. Did not hurt that some if not all were from Long Island, even though they were attending school in New Rochelle. Iona had signed Ruland a year earlier despite Kentucky and many others offering him the world. Still remember Joe B Hall coming up to recruit him on a private jet a year earlier. Ruland wanted to play with Vickers! They knew each other from HS. Ruland's decision made Iona basketball what it was and they had a huge program in the best 3500 seat arena you could imagine with a big-time atmosphere.
Well that historical game won by Iona along with a huge MSG victory against a top team (Louisville ???) made the Gaels a household name and a major recruitment player. They than went out and snagged national top 5 player Gary Springer, got Steve Burtt, and many others to become Gaels.
SHU beating Louisville in front of a rocking arena will do similar wonders. And I think this could happen because of the folllowing:
Eugene Harvey will bring his A game
Laing will play very well
The SHU Bigs will get after it better than ever before
Nutter will have a step up performance
Paul Guase (sp) will be motivating
The crowd will be electric
I think there is a little dissension on the part of a few Louisville Players. Plus the pressure of coming home makes this a hard game for them. For SHU it is also about bragging rights during the summer. a few of those kids turned down RU, SHU. and St. Johns to play for Louisville. Now this is where the toughness for SHU is exhibited. I for one will be shocked if Eugene Harvey does not play well. Ditto Laing!
If this game ends with a SHU victory look for many kids to move SHU up on their list. And remember, this is a very winnable game for SHU.
What will happen? Will the players bring toughness to the game today in Chicago? Will JR play like he is capable of playing? Will Byron Joynes be noticed on the court because he is balling? Will farmer lead? Will Griffin play well again? Wondering minds wish to know. One thing for certain is the big fella will COMPETE HARD. I also thing Chandler will be a serious factor. Honestly, Depaul does not have that much of a home court advantage despite drawing some fans this season.
My prediction? Rutgers wins the game and Farmer scores 17 points to go along with 6 assists while JR gets 12 and 9. Maybe it is just wishful thinking but I will stay with my prediction.